Harassment in Texas is taken very seriously. If an individual is charged with harassment, it could lead to jail time and heavy fines. But that’s not all. Harassment charges could impact your career, your ability to get a house, and so on so forth.
If you or your loved one is charged with harassment, getting a bail bond in Tarrant County can help keep you out of jail.
What Qualifies as Harassment in Texas?
In simple terms, harassment is an intent to harass, embarrass, annoy, or alarm another person.
More specifically, according to the Texas Penal Code Section 42.07, “a person commits harassment in Texas if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another, they:
- Initiates communication and in the course of the communication makes a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene
- Threatens, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the threat, to inflict bodily injury on the person or to commit a felony against the person, a member of the person\’s family or household, or the person\’s property
- Conveys, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the report, a false report, which is known by the conveyor to be false, that another person has suffered death or serious bodily injury
- Causes the telephone of another to ring repeatedly or makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another
- Makes a telephone call and intentionally fails to hang up or disengage the connection
- Knowingly permits a telephone under the person\’s control to be used by another to commit an offense under this section, or
- Sends repeated electronic communications in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another.”
Penalties of Harassment in Texas
In Texas, harassment is considered a Class B misdemeanor. It could lead to up to 180 days in jail, fines of up to $2,000, a ban from carrying a weapon for five years, and probation.
The offense could also increase to a Class A misdemeanor if the individual has a previous harassment conviction, if they harassed a minor using electronic device with an aim to have the child commit suicide or serious harm to the body, or if they harassed a minor using electronic device where the convicted person had a restraining order.
Keep in mind that a Class A misdemeanor in Texas comes with heavy penalties. An individual can spend up to one year in jail and face fines of up $4,000.
Here’s something worth noting as well: if an individual is convicted of harassment in Texas, it stays on their permanent criminal record. This means that the person could have a hard time even looking for work, let alone buying a house, financing a car, and other related things in the future.
Factors to Elevate Harassment Charges
As said earlier, most harassment offenses are treated as Class B misdemeanors under the Texas harassment laws, but sometimes these charges could increase to a more severe punishment.
While one factor that could increase the punishment is a repeat offense, other factors like stalking and bullying could elevate the harassment charges in Texas.
Here are some examples:
- If an individual in question has been frequently calling the victim and making threats to injure or kill them, in this case harassment charged could be increased.
- Habitually emailing a victim, texting, or contacting them on online platforms, and threatening to harm them could cause the charges to be higher and the individual could be charged with cyberstalking or cyberbullying.
- Harassing, annoying, abusing, alarming, tormenting, or embarrassing family members of the victim could lead to additional punishment, in which case stalking charges could be laid.
- Insulting someone and threatening harm could be considered bullying and elevated charges could follow.
Harassment vs. Bullying and Stalking
While dealing with harassment charges in Texas, there are few things to remember. Certainly, one might see harassment and bullying and stalking as interchangeable, but this is not true. There are differences. Knowing them could be helpful in case you or your loved ones are facing harassment charges in Texas.
You see, harassment could be something that may occur through a phone call, over text message, or in an email exchange.
However, stalking and bullying is when a person in question pursues the victim in a threatening way. One example of this could be when an individual follows their co-worker to their home on a regular basis and threatens to harm them in case their demands aren’t met.
Mind you, if convicted of stalking and bullying and if you are a first-time offender, you could face jail time of up to six months and heavy fines. In addition to this, you could get a restraining order and could be banned for any future contact with the victim.
Criminal Harassment vs. Civil Harassment in Texas
Usually when we hear the word harassment, we might think that its all about threats, harming someone, or some sort of confrontation, but that’s not all. There are essentially two types of harassment in Texas: Civil Harassment and Criminal Harassment.
Criminal harassment is what has been explained so far. It involves harassing, annoying, alarming, abusing, tormenting, or embarrassing another person.
Civil harassment is when there’s an unwanted action that is intended to keep an individual or a group from living normally. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 for instance bans harassment of an individual on the basis of his or her national original, race, sex, or religion. An individual harassing someone only based on their color could be charged with civil harassment in Texas.
How PCS Bail Bonds Can Help in Fort Worth
At PCS Bail Bonds, we know that harassment in Texas is a serious offense and could lead to jail time. If you or your loved ones are behind bars, we can help. Get your loved ones out of jail quick so they can make a good defense for themselves.
Why Choose PCS Bail Bonds? We have been in bail bonding services business since 1991, we offer competitive rates, we can get you out of jail immediately, we do not require credit checks, and everything we do is absolutely confidential.
Contact us now by phone at 817-335-1655, at our e-mail, visit in-person, or fill out our bail bond request form. You can be confident that you’re working with experts who are dedicated to helping you. Se Habla Español.